Skin popping

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Skin popping is a method of administration for the use of drugs by injecting or placing the substance or drug under the skin.[1] It can include subcutaneous placement or intradermal placement though is also rarely used to mean intramuscular injection. It is however as a term distinct from the meaning of intravenous use or other methods not through the skin. Higher potency prescription opioids, such as morphine, fentanyl, or meperidine can be injected subcutaneously,[2] as can cocaine. Skin popping increases the duration of the high one gets from drugs such as cocaine. The sites where skin popping with cocaine has been performed have an area of central pallor surrounded by bruising (ecchymosis). This pattern is due to the vasoconstrictive properties of cocaine acting locally at the injection site with hemorrhage occurring in the surrounding tissue. Skin popping puts one at risk for developing secondary amyloid associated (AA) amyloidosis. Tetanus has also been associated with skin-popping[3] as has botulism.[4]


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  2. ^ Coombs, R. H., & Howatt, W. A. (2005). The Addiction Counselor’s Desk Reference. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.
  3. ^ Harrison 17E page:898
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